If you can’t imagine hesitating to purchase a $60 game, here’s a useful glimpse into a different world.
There’s no shortage of opinions on the subject of higher-priced games. Here’s a great summary. The “$60′s OK” camp says: “The $60 price point will highlight to every gamer that Xbox360 games are much more sophisticated and different” (VP marketing, SEGA). The “$60′s crazy” camp says: “The first million’ish early adaptors will begrudgingly pay the price, but it will be a challenge to convince the larger audience to start paying more for games. Which will be fine for the rental business, but bad for publishers and developers.” (President, Oddworld Inhabitants). Good for rental *and* pre-owned sales, for that matter.
Of course, the entire question of a single, fixed price is pretty archaic. Why not charge less, then give consumers the option to purchase more content if they wish? And, at least when the installed console base gets bigger, why not use a lower price to expand the market (and steal some market share along the way, like Take-Two almost did at the expense of the Madden franchise. EA ultimately shelled out a ton of money to lock-in the NFL license, but at least Take-Two forced the transfer of some profit from a competitor to a neutral party.)
It’s worth noting Microsoft’s decision to sell 360 first-party titles for $50, not $60. This is a company that understands pricing strategy, and whether they’re looking to sell more games or more consoles, the ultimate message is the same (since game sales drive 360 revenues — not console sales.)